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Whole Grain Benefits

How Many Calories Are in Salad? Different Types and Toppings



If you’re looking for a low-calorie meal or side dish to enjoy, a salad can probably come to mind.

However, with myriad types of salad ingredients, toppings, and dressings available, the calorie content of salads can vary significantly.

This article takes an in-depth look at how many calories are in many popular salads, toppings, and dressings so you can choose which one best fits your health goals.

Caesar salad

Caesar salad typically includes romaine lettuce and croutons.

It also offers Caesar salad dressing, which is made with anchovy paste, egg yolk, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic, and parmesan cheese.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, most of the calories in the Caesar salad come from this dressing and croutons. Some varieties of the dish also include chicken, which adds protein to the dish.

One cup (100 grams) of chicken-free Caesar salad contains (1):

  • Calories: 190
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 8 grams
  • Fat: 16 grams

Pasta salad

Pasta salad is a common side dish made from pasta, mozzarella, and fresh vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, and olives, all tossed in a rich, flavorful Italian dressing.

Because it is grain based, it contains more calories and carbohydrates than many other green salads.

One cup (204 grams) of pasta salad with Italian dressing contains (2):

  • Calories: 269
  • Protein: 7.5 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 43 grams
  • Fat: 7.5 grams

chef salad

Although the exact ingredients in a cooking salad vary, most versions contain lettuce, pickles, cheese, tomatoes, and hard-boiled eggs.

A salad usually also contains some type of cold meat, such as ham, turkey, chicken, or tuna, which increases its protein content.

The type of dressing used also varies. Popular options include ranch, Thousand Island, and blue cheese dressings.

One serving (249 grams) of Turkey, Ham and Ranch Dressing Chef Salad contains (3):

  • Calories: 371
  • Protein: 15 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 8 grams
  • Fat: 31 grams

Greek salad

A traditional Greek salad consists of cucumber, tomatoes, olives, peppers, red onions, and feta cheese.

It’s usually topped with a simple vinaigrette dressing made with ingredients like olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice.

Compared to other salads, Greek salad is relatively low in calories and carbohydrates. It also contains a moderate amount of heart-healthy fats from ingredients like olives, feta cheese, and olive oil (4).

One serving (319 grams) of Greek salad contains (5):

  • Calories: 211
  • Protein: 6 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 13 grams
  • Fat: 15 grams

Cobb salad

Cobb salad is a common salad with ingredients like mixed vegetables, bacon, hard-boiled eggs, chicken, turkey, tomatoes, and avocados.

It is often combined with a red wine vinaigrette, but can also be enjoyed with other dressings.

Thanks to its protein-rich ingredients such as eggs, chicken or turkey, Cobb Salad contains more protein than many other salads.

Keep in mind, however, that it contains several high-calorie ingredients like bacon and avocados.

One serving (206 grams) of Cobb Salad contains (6):

  • Calories: 290
  • Protein: 16 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 5 grams
  • Fat: 23 grams

Tuna salad

Tuna Salad is a cold salad with mayonnaise and tuna.

It can also contain ingredients such as celery, onions, relish, or cucumber, and is often enjoyed as is or in green salads, sandwiches, flatbreads, or wraps.

The tuna makes it high in protein, while the mayonnaise increases its calorie and fat content.

One cup (238 grams) of tuna salad contains (7):

  • Calories: 466
  • Protein: 24 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 7 grams
  • Fat: 38 grams

egg salad

Egg salad is usually made with hard-boiled or scrambled eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, spring onions, dill, and celery.

Similar to other mayo-based salads, each serving is relatively high in fat and calories. However, since it’s made from eggs, it provides a good amount of protein.

One cup (222 grams) of egg salad contains (8):

  • Calories: 571
  • Protein: 23 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 2 grams
  • Fat: 51 grams

Chicken salad

Chicken salad is prepared with chicken breast, mayonnaise and Dijon mustard. It can also contain ingredients like red grapes, celery, green onions, bell peppers, or pickles.

This option is high in calories, fat, and protein. It’s also relatively low in carbohydrates, depending on the ingredients used.

One cup (226 grams) of Chicken Salad contains (9):

  • Calories: 531
  • Protein: 32 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 6 grams
  • Fat: 42 grams

Macaroni salad

In addition to elbow macaroni, this salad typically includes mayonnaise, onions, celery, peppers, and cucumbers.

Since macaroni pasta is the main ingredient, it is generally lower in protein and more carbohydrates than other mayo-based salads.

Adding hard-boiled eggs or chicken breasts is a great way to increase the amount of protein in each serving to round out your meal.

One cup (204 grams) of macaroni salad contains (10):

  • Calories: 451
  • Protein: 9 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 50 grams
  • Fat: 24 grams

potato salad

Most potato salad recipes have boiled potatoes mixed with mayonnaise, mustard, onions, and celery, along with a variety of herbs and spices.

Since it is low in protein but high in carbohydrates, calories and fat, it should only be consumed in moderation or served as a side dish and combined with other nutrient-rich foods.

One cup (275 grams) of potato salad contains (11):

  • Calories: 462
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 43 grams
  • Fat: 31 grams


If you’re looking for veggies along the way, know that Wendy’s has a variety of salads on the menu.

Keep in mind, however, that Wendy’s options are typically high in calories, made up of ingredients like cheese, avocados, and tortilla chips. Therefore, they should be consumed in moderation as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

Below are the calorie counts from Wendy’s salads (12):

  • Jalapeño Popper Salad: 660 calories
  • Parmesan Caesar Salad: 440 calories
  • Southwest Avocado Salad: 570 calories
  • Taco salad: 690 calories
  • Apple and pecan salad: 550 calories

Olive garden

You may already be familiar with Olive Garden’s famous house salad, which consists of chopped lettuce, tomatoes, olives, croutons, red onions and peperoncini.

Although it is usually served with the restaurant’s signature Italian dressing, you can opt for a low-fat Italian or oil and vinegar dressing instead.

Here is the calorie and fat content of Olive Garden’s famous house salad (13):

  • Without dressing: 290 calories and 17 grams of fat
  • With Italian dressing: 370 calories and 25 grams of fat


Subway may be known for its sandwiches, but salads have recently been launched.

As with other items on the menu, you can easily customize your meal by adding or removing vegetables, proteins, and dressings. This naturally affects the nutritional value.

Here is the number of calories for each salad on the menu when ordered as ordered (14):

  • Black Forest ham: 120 calories
  • Chicken and Bacon Ranch: 460 calories
  • Cold cut combination: 160 calories
  • Italian BMT: 240 calories
  • Meatballs Marinara: 290 calories
  • Oven Roast Chicken: 130 calories
  • Spicy Italian: 300 calories
  • Steak & Cheese: 200 calories
  • Sweet onion Teriyaki: 210 calories
  • Tuna: 310 calories
  • Turkey Breast: 110 calories
  • Vegetable portion: 50 calories

panera bread

Panera Bread specializes in fresh, delicious and seasonal salads.

If you’ve ordered from Panera before, you may know that they offer both whole and half servings. Plus, you can customize the ingredients or add additional toppings for an additional fee.

Here is the number of calories in a full size serving of each option on their menu, sorted as is (15):

  • Strawberry and poppy seed salad with chicken: 360 calories
  • Green Goddess Cobb Salad with Chicken: 530 calories
  • Fuji Apple Salad with Chicken: 580 calories
  • Caesar salad: 330 calories
  • Caesar salad with chicken: 470 calories
  • Greek salad: 400 calories
  • Asian sesame salad with chicken: 430 calories
  • Southwest Chile Lime Ranch Salad with Chicken: 670 calories
  • BBQ Chicken Salad: 510 calories

The nutritional value of your salad can vary widely depending on the dressings and toppings you add.

Unfortunately, since many dressings and toppings are high in calories, overdoing a healthy salad can quickly turn into a high calorie meal. So if you want to lose weight, moderate your portion sizes and choose low-calorie dressings and toppings.

This is how many calories you will find in a 2 tablespoon (30 gram) serving of regular salad dressings (16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22):

  • Ranch dressing: 129 calories
  • Mold cheese dressing: 145 calories
  • Thousand Iceland Dressing: 114 calories
  • Caesar dressing: 163 calories
  • Chipotle Ranch Dressing: 170 calories
  • Italian dressing: 71 calories
  • Honey mustard dressing: 139 calories

Here is the number of calories in popular toppings (23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30):

  • Croutons: 122 calories per cup (30 grams)
  • Avocados: 234 calories per cup (146 grams)
  • Sunflower seeds: 165 calories per ounce (28 grams)
  • Almonds: 164 calories per ounce (28 grams)
  • Bacon cubes: 33 calories per tablespoon (7 grams)
  • Parmesan cheese: 119 calories per ounce (28 grams)
  • Swiss cheese: 111 calories per ounce (28 grams)
  • Mozzarella cheese: 85 calories per ounce (28 grams)

Note, however, that whole food toppings like avocados, nuts, and seeds, despite being high in calories, are nutrient-dense and contribute health-promoting fats, fiber, and more (24, 25, 26).

While salads are typically considered healthy, slimming-friendly options, their nutritional values ​​and calories vary significantly depending on the ingredients used.

To maximize the nutritional value of your meal, opt for green salads with lots of vegetables and a good source of protein.

If you’re looking to lose weight, it can also be beneficial to choose low-calorie toppings and dressings and moderate your portion sizes.

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Whole Grain Benefits

Best Vegetarian Instagram Accounts 2021



Maintaining healthy eating habits – be it in the New Year or during quarantine (when snacks are so tempting) – is easier when you surround yourself with people who inspire those habits, even virtually. Although these vegetarian bloggers are scattered all over the world, it will feel like they’re in your living room with you as they share recipes and tips for healthy vegetarian eating all year round.

Bookmark these in your browser and follow on Instagram for a steady stream of delicious inspiration. Bonus: Many of these vegetarian virtuosos also have cookbooks so you can prepare their recipes offline too.

The first mess

Laura from The First Mess takes us to her old farmhouse to share vegetable-heavy recipes through large and inspiring photos. Start with their vegan caramelized onion dip or smoky chickpea, cabbage, and lentil stew with kale.

The First Chaos Cookbook: Lively Plant-Based Recipes to Eat Well Through the Seasons at Amazon. Buy now

A couple is cooking

Sonja and Alex are a couple from Indianapolis who share simple and nutritious recipes. A few years ago they decided to cut processed foods and fast foods from their diets and have since developed hundreds of whole foods recipes that they share at A Couple Cooks. Next time you have people, try their braised veggies or their favorite vegan lasagna recipe.

A couple cooks: Pretty easy cooking on Amazon. Buy now

Sweet potato soul

Jenné Claiborne, creator of Sweet Potato Soul, is not only a source of great vegan recipes (like Vegan Burrito Bowls, Vegan Caesar Salad, and Vegan Sweet Potato Chocolate Muffins), but also a great help with meal preparation and planning. Check out their YouTube cooking videos to find out more.

Sweet Potato Soul: 100 Easy Vegan Recipes for the Southern Flavors of Smoke, Sugar, Spices and Soul on Amazon. Buy now

Oh it shines

Oh She Glows focuses on vegan whole foods, but most of them are also soy and gluten free. These include amazing desserts like Obsession-Worthy Peanut Butter Cookie Ice Cream, but filling meat alternatives (like the Ultimate Green Taco Wraps with Lentil Walnut Taco Meat) are also well represented.

Oh She Glows Every Day: Quick and Easy Satisfying Plant-Based Recipes on Amazon. Buy now

Oh ladycakes

Although Oh, Ladycakes is a baking blog, the recipes are as healthy as baked goods, with the main ingredients being natural sugar and alternative flours. We recommend starting with Ashlae’s Whole Grain Caramel Apple Hand Pies or the Peanut Butter Cookies.

Sprouted kitchen

The authors of Sprouted Kitchen create accessible and delicious vegetarian cuisine. Their focus is often on healthy recipes that are ideal for entertainment, such as the flour-free peppermint stick cake or the berry-ginger cocktail.

The Sprouted Kitchen: A tastier version of Whole Foods on Amazon. Buy now

Green kitchen stories

Green Kitchen Stories is a couple and a daughter who share their healthy take on vegetarian recipes. You have several cookbooks, like “Green Kitchen Travels” (with recipes inspired by foods from around the world) and “Little Green Kitchen” (with an emphasis on kid-friendly recipes that you’ll love to eat too), but you can Also, check out their recipes, like their Green Pancakes, which are cooked in three ways, or this Seasoned Parsnip Cake, for free on their blog.

Green Kitchen at Home: Fast and healthy vegetarian food for every day at Amazon. Buy now

Of course Ella

Erin of Naturally Ella turned to a healthy diet after watching her father go through numerous medical problems due to his traditional American meat and potato diet. First, check out their Barley Chocolate Chip Cookies or the spicy Sweet Potato Galette.

Vegetarian ‘ventures’

While I may be biased as it is my own blog, Vegetarian ‘Ventures is all about offering delicious vegetarian recipes that focus on local and seasonal ingredients. especially if you like the sound of Savory Cheddar & Cornmeal Waffles or Salted Maple Dark Chocolate Raspberry Crumble.

[Ed. Note: Check out Shelly’s Pistachio-Crusted Tofu with Red Chimichurri, Sweet Cinnamon Fruit Dip, and Skillet Bagel Eggs with Lemon-Rosemary Butter too!]

Plates and boards: beautiful, casual spreads for every occasion at Amazon. Buy now

Biscuit + kate

Cookie + Kate is a vegetarian blog about a girl and her dog creating healthy habits in the kitchen. In addition to recipes (like Halloumi Tacos with Pineapple Salsa & Aji Verde), Kate also regularly shares “What to Cook This Month” guides so you can keep track of seasonal food.

Love real food: More than 100 vegetarian feel-good favorites to please the senses and nourish the body on Amazon. Buy now

Oh my vegetables

Oh My Veggies is a wonderful resource not only for recipes, but also to learn more about vegetarian topics such as the differences in tofu and how to prepare rice from cauliflower.

Love & lemons

The Austin-based couple behind Love & Lemons are experts at turning traditional recipes into healthy, vegan versions that are just as fantastic. We recommend starting with the Vegan Mac & Cheese or the Chocolate PB&J Cups.

Love and Lemons Every Day: 100+ Bright, Plant-Oriented Recipes for Every Meal on Amazon. Buy now

The plump vegetarian

Justin Fox Burks and Amy Lawrence offer a Memphis take on meatless cuisine with their popular blog The Chubby Vegetarian. While southern specialties like Red Velvet Cornbread are their bread and butter, they also cover the world with recipes like Young Coconut Ceviche.

The chubby vegetarian: 100 inspired vegetable recipes for the modern table (for Kindle), at Amazon. Buy now

Delicious Ella

Over 1.7 million Instagram followers can’t be wrong. British sensation Ella Mills helped bring plant life into the mainstream with her popular blog, cookbooks, app, line of products and even a brick and mortar London deli. If you can’t make it across the pond, try making their stunning breakfast creations and hearty specialties like this Jerusalem artichoke salad in your own kitchen.

Deliciously Ella: 100+ Easy, Healthy, and Delicious Plant-Based Gluten-Free Recipes (for Kindle), on Amazon. Buy now

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Whole Grain Benefits

Are there healthy and unhealthy carbs?



Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients found naturally in plant foods, including peas and beans, nuts and seeds, grains, dairy and dairy products, fruits and vegetables.

The other two macronutrients are dietary fats and proteins.

Carbohydrates are an essential nutrient – meaning a person must ingest them through food – and the body needs them to function properly as they serve as the primary source of energy.

The word “carbohydrates” is an umbrella term that describes different types of sugary molecules found in foods.

In general, there are three types of carbohydrates: sugar, starch, and fiber.

It is possible to further classify them into simple or complex carbohydrates, depending on the number and type of sugar molecules – like glucose – that each structure contains.

Simple carbohydrates

Also called “simple sugars”, “sugars” or “saccharides”, these carbohydrates contain between one and 10 sugar molecules and are found in fruits, vegetables and dairy products. Those with one or two sugar molecules are called monosaccharides and disaccharides, respectively, while those with up to 10 sugar molecules are called oligosaccharides.

Lactose – the main sugar in animal milk – is a disaccharide made up of the monosaccharides glucose and galactose.

However, oligosaccharides are medium-length prebiotic carbohydrates found in high-fiber foods and breast milk.

Complex carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates are made up of polysaccharides, which are longer, complicated chains of sugar molecules. Complex carbohydrates include both starch and fiber.

Starches are the stored carbohydrates in peas and beans, grains and vegetables and provide the body with energy.

Fiber, or fiber, is the indigestible part of plants – found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, and legumes like peas and beans – that supports good intestinal health.

Carbohydrates often have a bad rap for the association of their excessive consumption with weight gain, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes.

This phenomenon, referred to by some researchers as “carbotoxicity”, encourages the idea that excessive consumption of all types of carbohydrates promotes the development of chronic diseases.

Because of this, many low-carb diets are popular with people interested in losing weight or controlling blood sugar levels. They are popular even with seasoned athletes.

However, several other studies have shown that the quality of the carbohydrates people consume is just as important as the quantity.

This finding suggests that some health options are better than others, rather than “making all carbs equal”.

“Unhealthy” carbohydrates

Carbohydrates that people consider unhealthy because they are less nutritious include:

  • refined carbohydrates like polished rice and flour
  • sugar-sweetened drinks such as sodas and juices
  • highly processed snacks including cookies and pastries

According to existing research, a diet high in these types of carbohydrates and fewer of the more nutritious options can increase markers of inflammation and maintain hormonal imbalances in people with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

Excessive consumption of simply added sugars is also linked to an increased risk of insulin resistance, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.

However, studies differentiate that added sugars and simple sugars, which are naturally found in foods, may not have the same negative effects.

A 2018 study even suggests that natural sources of sugar like honey can be effective in lowering blood sugar levels and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

New research continues to shed light on the negative health effects of these so-called unhealthy carbohydrate foods.

Experts recommend a balanced diet that consists mainly of nutritious foods and that only contain these types of carbohydrates in moderation.

“Healthy” carbohydrates

Some of the more nutritious sources of carbohydrates that people typically consider healthy include:

  • Fruits like bananas, apples and berries
  • starch-free vegetables like spinach, carrots, and tomatoes
  • Whole grain products like whole wheat flour, brown rice, and quinoa
  • Peas and beans, such as black beans, lentil peas, or chickpeas
  • Dairy products and dairy products such as skimmed milk, yogurt, and cheese

Research has linked a diet high in these complex carbohydrates – like the Mediterranean diet – to anti-inflammatory benefits, lower insulin resistance, and reduced risk of chronic disease.

Researchers attribute many of these benefits to the fiber content of complex carbohydrates.

For example, the fiber in whole fruits improves long-term weight management and supports regular bowel movements and healthy aging.

Additionally, improving the quality of your diet by consuming more complex carbohydrates and fiber can improve some of the effects of PCOS, such as: B. Insulin resistance and increased androgens.

A 2020 review found that the fiber in whole grains offered several health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease, bowel disease, cancer, and diabetes.

The glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) are two metrics that people have used to determine the quality of carbohydrate foods and classify them as “healthy” or “unhealthy”.

The GI is a measure of the blood sugar-increasing potential of a single carbohydrate-containing food compared to pure glucose.

Low GI foods, composed mostly of complex carbohydrates, have minimal effects on blood sugar levels. This includes whole grains and non-starchy vegetables. High GI foods include potatoes and foods with added sugar.

Likewise, people use GL to gauge how much a particular meal is likely to raise blood sugar levels.

Although people have used both the GI and GL for decades to guide meal planning and control blood sugar levels for people with diabetes, the science is inconclusive.

Many studies suggest that increased intake of low GI foods improves health outcomes, but other studies show that differences in daily glucose tolerance and individual responses are responsible for blood sugar levels, rather than the GI of the foods themselves.

A food’s GI therefore cannot be a direct predictor of a person’s glycemic response.

Differences in glycemic response between individuals make it difficult to determine which carbohydrates are really the healthiest, as even whole grains may not be a consistent and reliable measure of GI and GL.

Despite the popularity of low-carb diets, they are not for everyone, and some populations still benefit from a high-carb diet.

For example, exercise endurance performance is compromised on a low-carb diet, and high carbohydrate intake remains the best-documented choice for elite athletes.

In members of the general population with high carbohydrate intake, there is a significant decrease in blood sugar levels – which may promote remission from prediabetes – when daily carbohydrate intake is reduced.

Therefore, experts recommend that populations who consume 65–75% of their daily calories from carbohydrates should reduce their carbohydrate calories to 50–55% of their daily intake and increase their protein intake.

A carbohydrate limit of 45% or less of daily calories is more effective for short-term blood sugar control, but may not be sustainable and will not provide better long-term results than a range of 50-55% of daily calories from carbohydrates.

Before making any changes to their diet, people should speak to a doctor or registered nutritionist to determine their specific carbohydrate needs in order to optimize their health outcomes.

Carbohydrates are an essential macronutrient that provides the body with energy and fiber to support good health.

Excessive consumption of carbohydrates is linked to weight gain and an increased risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

However, despite their bad reputation, carbohydrates offer many health benefits when a person consumes frequent sources of complex carbohydrates and fiber in favor of refined carbohydrates and sugar-sweetened beverages.

The ideal diet also varies from person to person. For example, a high-carbohydrate diet optimizes athletic performance.

Non-athletes who consume 65-75% of their daily calories from carbohydrates, however, see the greatest drop in blood sugar levels when they reduce their caloric intake from carbohydrates to 50-55% of their daily energy intake.

Carbohydrates aren’t bad when people control the amount and type of food they consume and tailor them to their specific needs.

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Whole Grain Benefits

‘I’m an RD, and Making This One Breakfast Swap Will Benefit Your Gut and Boost Your Longevity’



There are two universal grain truths. First it goes into the bowl before the milk. And second, starting the day with one of the super-processed, sugary grains – even though they’re delicious – is one of the most ineffective ways of feeling energized and nutritional throughout the morning, according to nutritionists.

“First off, I want to say that whole grain cereals can be a fantastic way to start the day. You can get fiber, vitamins and minerals in your bowl. So not all cereal is bad!” says Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, nutritionist and author of Smoothies & Juices: Prevention Healing Kitchen. “But yes, some of them are very high in added sugar, so you’re getting 12-17 grams or more of sugar per serving.”

a bowl of food on a plate: Food Smoothie Bowl

© Photo: Stocksy / Nadine Greeff
Eating smoothie bowl

The added sugar problem is a (big) deal, but Largeman-Roth says the main disadvantage of having sweet cereal for breakfast – especially if you eat it daily – is that you are missing out on an important opportunity to pack more nutrient-rich foods into your diet . “Breakfast is the best time to get lots of fiber, protein and antioxidants, as well as calcium and other vitamins and minerals,” she explains. One simple, healthy breakfast swap you can make to take advantage of this opportunity is to choose a fresh smoothie instead.

Benefits for the heart, intestines and longevity by exchanging sugary breakfast cereals for smoothies

“When you swap out your sugary granola and replace it with a plant-based smoothie, you have a great opportunity to both leave the added sugar behind and pack in multiple servings of disease-fighting fruits and vegetables, plus protein, healthy fats, and tons of fiber,” says tons of fiber Largeman-Roth. “The fiber is beneficial for gut and heart health, while the fruits and vegetables provide nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, folic acid, niacin, and calcium, all of which support heart health.” And since most Americans are far from reaching their recommended fiber intake, this opportunity to consume more of it (in the form of fresh fruits, nuts, seeds, or even avocado) can literally add years to your life.

Your bones thank you too: Largeman-Roth says that using cow’s milk in your smoothie gives you 30 percent of your daily recommended calcium, but you can also get calcium by using a fortified plant-based milk like sesame milk or flaxseed milk. Almonds, chia seeds, yogurt, and leafy greens are other excellent sources of calcium that are delicious in smoothies.

The fresh fruits and vegetables in your breakfast smoothie are also high in polyphenols, also known as powerful antioxidants that you can’t get from sugary grains, says LA-based cardiologist Dr. Alejandro Junge, MD, Founder and Medical Director of the Clean Program. “These are the compounds plants make for a variety of reasons, such as color, fragrance, defense … when they’re in our bloodstream and available to cells, they have powerful benefits,” he explains. “For example, blue fruits and vegetables contain polyphenols that protect the brain. The full beneficial effects of these compounds cannot be reproduced by isolating each polyphenol and taking it as a dietary supplement. “

Antioxidants have been shown to fight inflammation and free radicals, both of which destabilize the cells in your body. “Over time, this can lead to oxidative stress, which accelerates the aging process and damages cell DNA,” Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD previously told Well + Good. “Ultimately, this can promote cancer and other health conditions. I like to think of cell damage as a chair with four legs – if one of the legs is broken, the chair is unstable. Foods high in antioxidants help repair this damage so your cells remain stable. This maintains your cellular health and protects you from cancer and other diseases. “

All fruits contain antioxidants, so choose what suits the flavor profile of your smoothie. We’re especially fond of this high-protein recipe that features blueberries and leafy greens:

How often does the nutritionist recommend doing this healthy breakfast swap?

Largeman-Roth says that this healthy breakfast swap can be very beneficial to your health even just two to three times a week. And that doesn’t mean you can never eat lucky charms again; it just means that you should consider a protein-rich smoothie with it. “It’s perfectly fine to have an occasional bowl of sweetened granola, but try to view breakfast each day as a great opportunity to improve your well-being,” she says. “That helps me stay on course!” You can also go for one of these high protein breakfast cereals that have captured the heart of a registered dietitian.

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